American Incunabula: 'Grotesque Genesis' and the Genealogical Genre

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Ian J. MacRae


Analysis of Os Sertões (Euclides da Cunha, Brazil, 1902), Absalom, Absalom! (William Faulkner, USA, 1936), Cien años de soledad (Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia, 1967), The Invention of the World (Jack Hodgins, Canada, 1977), and Texaco (Patrick Chamoiseau, Martinique, 1992) as a generic ensemble enables diverse treatments of race, class, gender and sexuality to resolve over time and across cultures into the meaningful patterns of American literary history. Each text incorporates the origin in writing and exposes it to difference—plurality, ambiguity, discontinuity. With this, the perpetual rewriting of the strong poem (the Book of Genesis) at the symbolic founding, the originary tradition transforms itself through incorporation of non-canonical elements, as the ‘same’ turns endlessly different: hybrid, ex-centric, grotesque, increasingly Creolized.

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MACRAE, Ian J.. American Incunabula: 'Grotesque Genesis' and the Genealogical Genre. AmeriQuests, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, feb. 2008. ISSN 1553-4316. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 13 july 2020. doi: